Thursday, January 11, 2007

Practice & Performance

She practices. And she loves performing. On Sunday she had planned to run her set three times before recording a full take. ("I will not allow myself to stop, no matter who calls!") Later, listening carefully to the recording, she would make notes about what to fix or tweak. I love that she talks about mistakes: "practicing today, I couldn't get through this one part without making a mistake! Then, three mistakes! But now I'm figuring out--thinking about--how to work through and with the mistakes, so that the performance is uninterrupted, so that the piece still flows." She has Method.

She is an electronic musician.

She is not concerned with costume or conceptual parameters, and I've never had that, "performing on laptop just seems boring and uncomfortable" conversation with her. When we talk about our work and current projects, she speaks mainly about the music and of her--her--responsibility to it. It is an intense and passionate approach, so fiercely personal and driven that I am reminded, oddly, of the famously neurotic concert pianists or those symphony-hopping, concerto-playing violinists. She has Focus.

She speaks my language, though: of hours of practice logged; of mistakes made, noted, and practiced away; of performances that are months off but for which she is currently preparing. The discipline of consistent and ongoing practice pays off on the day of the performance. She mingles with the audience before performing, cool, excited, maybe a little nervous, but still calm, and this attitude positively affects one's perception of her performance. I have never seen her panic (what do you mean, there are no extension cords? the projector light bulb is what? you're kidding...) in the eleventh hour. She has Fun.

She is an electronic musician from whom we all can learn.


Why can't I figure out these damn web pages? I have missed and thought about you so often in the last fifteen years...You promised to leave and never contact anyone, but I didn't want to believe it. You sound so educated and accomplished. I would love to catch me any time.

--Jill Barth from Oakesdale High.

By Blogger Heather, at 7:09 PM  

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